In looking at the statistics for this blog, I noticed that some people had reached it while searching Google for info and advice about maintaining a Long Distance Relationship (LDR). So welcome to the first part of a 2 part series of posts on the topic. As I’ve said before, I continued my relationship on a long-distance basis throughout my entire time at university and haven’t regretted it one bit. But it’s an individual decision, so before I offer any advice on maintaining that relationship, here are some important questions for you to ponder. Only you can answer them:
- What do you want most at this stage in your life?
- Are you prepared to make the time for your other half?
- Are you both at university (different ones, of course), or is it just you?
- Do you know how your other half feels about things becoming long-distnace? Is that view compatible with yours?
Think carefully about what is going on and don’t make any rash decisions. Sometimes neither decision will feel like it’s the best thing. If so, be more clinical about the situation and list the pros and cons in your mind. If one side far outweighs the other, you’ve got an answer. If there is a roughly equal balance on each side, at least it means you have a lot of positive reasons to stay in the relationship and try to make it blossom. So err toward the side of keeping that LDR alive if it’s difficult to choose in the first place.
Which brings us neatly on to some snippets of advice on maintaining an LDR:
- Make regular use of the phone.
- Listen to how your partner’s day has been and what they’ve been up to. If they’ve had a bad day, try not to be too overexcited about how brilliant your day was. On the flipside, if you’ve had a bad day and they start saying how amazing everything is for them, please do forgive them that. As humans, we do quite like to tell people about good stuff without always considering how jealous it might make you or that you might have more pressing issues on your mind. Understanding this puts you into a strong position for peace.
- If it’s possible, arrange visits…you to them and them to you. If you want things to work out, try to make the visits as regular as you can.
- If it’s not possible to arrange visits, let them know how you care by telling them, sending them letters (more personal), sending the odd gift if your budget can stretch to it, and DEFINITELY being friends too. If you don’t have the physical side for now, always keep focus on the mental side of your relationship.
- Make the most of any holiday time that you can spend with them. I’ve known LDRs to break down after a Christmas or Easter holiday, because not enough effort had been put in on spending that valuable time together as a couple, when it was possible. You’d think it would be the easiest time of year to maintain it, but it’s a trap worth remembering. Don’t fall into it.
Tomorrow, a few anonymous stories of the ups and downs on the well-traveled path of the university Long Distance Relationship. Plus, an EduLinks special on LDRs.